A group of Dresden residents plans to appeal the Dresden Planning Board’s unanimous approval of Dick Condon’s application for a permit to operate a gravel pit on Ludwig Road.
The board had approved Condon’s conditional use permit application for a gravel pit on Ludwig Road during the Dec. 15, 2015 meeting.
The decision followed a spirited public hearing, during which members of the community and residents of Ludwig Road expressed concerns regarding the pit, including about safety hazards and road damage due to the large trucks that would be using the narrow dirt road.
During the planning board’s Tuesday, Jan. 5 meeting, Chairman Jeff Pierce said some of the residents intend to appeal the decision, and had stopped in the town office seeking information about the pit and the appeal process.
“There is some animosity, not toward the board, but to the decision,” Pierce said.
Pierce said an appeal request would need to have standing in order to be considered by the Dresden Board of Appeals.
“(The applicants) will need to prove the planning board misinterpreted the ordinance, didn’t follow the ordinance, or neglected the ordinance when making a decision,” Pierce said.
After reading the ordinance again, Pierce said he believed the board followed the ordinance and an appeal request would be without standing.
“We cannot pick and choose what projects to approve based on if we like or dislike them,” Pierce said. “We have to follow the book. There’s no gray area about this in my mind.”
The deadline to file an appeal request is Feb. 13, 60 days after the planning board’s decision.
A stop-work order issued by Dresden Code Enforcement Officer James Valley is still in effect for the gravel pit until the conditions of approval are met. In addition to following the Dresden mining ordinance and the town solid waste ordinance, Condon is not permitted to have a crusher on site, and is not allowed to keep trucks in the pit at night.
Condon also cannot store fuel on site or fuel vehicles in the pit. An emergency fuel spillage kit must be on site.
The pit must be consistent with the Dresden Land Use Ordinance and maintain a 150-foot setback from property lines. Condon must also submit a final property map indicating his property as well as neighboring property lines. During the Dec. 15, 2015 meeting, Condon said he currently had a surveyor working to establish property boundaries.
Condon must repair a damaged area near the property line of Donald and Debra Swift, which abuts the gravel pit site, and install a buffer.
Condon also agreed to complete repairs to Ludwig Road as approved by the Dresden Board of Selectmen, including posting various signage discouraging the use of engine brakes, caution signs, and a 25-mph speed-limit sign.
Condon also agreed to include a $25,000 road bond for the first year the pit is in operation.